Fox 29 Morning Show Appearance

The team insisted I do this. “It will be a good opportunity to get the word out about what we are doing. It’s good exposure", they say. But everything in my head is telling me “fuck that". "This will be nothing but a headache.” After a few phone calls and emails, it’s gonna happen. Fox 29 wants us (VURT) on their morning show. They want to know if I’ll paint live on TV. And well I’m gonna. After making a few calls we got a local Home Depot to donate wood for us to build a small wall outside the TV station in their courtyard. I borrow a truck from a very understanding uncle and the crew help me assemble and prime it. Seriously if it wasn’t for them, nothing would actually get done right. Not wanting to let down the people who have my back has become a greater motivation to working as hard as I do, than wanting to impress people I don’t know. I wish it didn’t take so long to see that. Even more so I wish I had the inner strength just to see things through without anybody at all, but unfortunately, I don’t.

I digress, it’s 5 am. We’re outside the studio, I’ve designed up some cookie cutter stuff I know they will like. Something TV friendly. Still, that inner voice is saying “this is wack, just tell them to kick rocks” but I press on. I just try to remember that this isn’t about me. It’s about what the team has built. This isn’t a reflection of my artwork, it’s an opportunity to talk about our (VURT's) mission.

Like most media, it’s a circus of entertainment and information. They want things NOW and then they don’t care. So I provided the entertainment, with hopes to attract interest in the information. It was dark out when I started. Film crew ready. I started sketching. Then the daylight hit and we started filming. The image started to take shape and emerged from the black background. Honestly once that starts, the camera, the spectators, the pressure to perform disappears. All I can hear is my breath as it escapes my respirator and the spray of the paint. All I can see is the image coming to life and how the colors subtly layer over one another rendering depth and shape until they tell me they stopped rolling... and my people tell me to “slow down”. Apparently, we have 3 more hours. Knowing I can finish this thing in one, I just sit around and kill time.

Evan on Fox 29

At some point, another segment of the show comes outside. A dog rescue. That’s right, dogs! No way I’m gonna continue to paint with their sensitive noses and adorable little faces in my presence. But they insist on filming more, so I turn from the wall, look at the camera, can of spray paint in my hand and yell, “but...... puppies “ and walk off screen. On live television, I couldn’t be prouder of myself. Apparently, people watching at home didn’t know about the dogs yet so I just left them all very confused. But I don’t care, there were dogs!

As the sun rose and moved through the buildings of Old City like a curious child peering around the bushes of a neighbor's backyard, it began to cast very distracting shadows on our temporary wall. So we all picked it up and turned it into a shadow. It took 3 of us to build it and 6 of us to move it. Finally, it was over. The morning show hosts came out for an interview and photo ops, made their jokes, flashed their perfect teeth and moved on with their next story. We packed up, left the wall for them to deal with and headed out. All in all, a strange morning. Being on TV, not that big a deal. Having people learn about some of the projects we are working on for the kids and art in our city - definitely made it worth it. To be honest, I haven’t seen the segment, and don’t care to. We pulled it off and that’s what matters. I have my sights set on new goals but always try to keep my eyes open for new opportunities.

Being a creep on Fox 29
Tara Wilkins